The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Gordon, Hon. John Hannah
Gordon, Hon. John Hannah, M.L.C., Minister of Education, South Australia, has only recently taken a prominent part in political life, and having been returned to the Legislative Council for the Southern district in May 1888, was Minister of Education and of the Northern Territory in Dr. Cockburn's Ministry from June 1889 to August 1890. He was appointed one of the representatives of South Australia to the Federation Convention held in Sydney in March 1891. Mr. Gordon is the eldest son of the Rev. James Gordon, Presbyterian minister of Gawler, S.A., and was born in Scotland in 1850. He went to South Australia with his parents in 1859. His early education was obtained in Adelaide. After studying for two years in the theological classes for the Presbyterian Church he turned his attention to the law, and in 1876 he was called to the bar. For eleven years he practised his profession at Strathalbyn, of which town he was at one time mayor. He then entered into practice in Adelaide, and turned his attention to politics. In March 1890 Mr. Gordon presided over the Intercolonial Postal and Telegraphic Conference held in Adelaide, when proposals were made which resulted in important reductions in the cable and postal rates between England and the colonies. When the Playford Government was defeated on Mr. Holder's want of confidence motion in June 1892, Mr. Gordon resumed his former post as Minister of Education in the Government formed by Mr. Holder.